Handwork

Working on hand sewing projects is strange. You are sitting down, relaxed, to work on a project, but your mind could be racing. It might be a time that engenders new ideas or brings resolution to problems.

For my current project, I work on it a bit and think that I don’t want to put a whole lot of stitching on it. Maybe I’ll fill just one more circle.

Then maybe one more.

But then it needs some here to balance.

Hmmmm….does it need some beading or does the metallic paint give it enough bling?

I thought this piece was going to stay simple and serene. So many thoughts running through my brain that cannot be seen as I sit calmly stitching, one little stitch at a time.

Strange…

Almost done, I think.

No beads on this one. Keep it simple. Soft edges so wrap around the canvas. Yep!

Finished and really just the way I envisioned it. Hand work really gives you the time to think things through!

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Gosh-I made a decision!

Many decisions are hard for me and I put them off as long as possible…it’s that I always see so many ‘what ifs’ and when a decision is made, that eliminates all the other possibilities. That’s a momentary sadness, but also a victory for moving forward!

This decision was aided by your input and I am going to finish each one of these pieces separately.

Which then involved some more decisions about edge finishes, final size and canvas paint color…mostly resolved when I found this great silk recycled yarn with which to finish the edges.

ALL the colors and thin enough that it wouldn’t overwhelm the pieces.

I especially loved the fuzzier bits! Decided on a nice deep brown paint for the canvases, after considering mounting the pieces on burgundy cotton or brown wool. I’m waiting for the paint to dry now before I mount the pieces and then I will actually have some total finishes for the upcoming Artisan Showcase.

Progress comes in little steps and I am continuing to take those steps, one after another! Soon I will have them done, right? Right?

I keep saying that, but then I start something new. It is a good thing when you never run out of projects or ideas….

Lazy and loving it!

This was a decadently delicious lazy day today. We started out with breakfast with my niece, her husband and their daughter and my sister-in-law. Bacon…need I say more?!

All I did for most of the day was play on the computer and a little laundry. Aaaaah…the sweet sound of no responsibilities.

As I passed a pile of “stuff” in the studio, I decided to play a bit. It was a container of spilled and dripped alcohol inks, which I have never played with before. Well, alcohol is easy so I tipped some into the container and started laying down some deli papers.

I am thrilled with the results! The first ones, of course, had the darkest colors.

And it took several times of adding more alcohol to use up all the ink that had spilled.

Of course, I didn’t scrub or mix the colors much. I wanted all the variety I could get.

Even at the end, when I did scrub and mix, the color was beautiful.

Don’t ask me what colors were in that box—I can’t even read the labels on the bottles that were in there! And don’t ask me what I’m going to do with these papers, because I can’t tell you that right now either. All I know is that I need to get a new, full bottle of alcohol and play with everything left in the little treasure box.

Supposedly alcohol inks will stick to anything, and I have a few old tiles that might get a bit of paint thrown their way. Wish one of those ‘famous name’ teachers that know all about this stuff lived in my neighborhood!

There is research to be done, and fun to be had! Hooray!

A step at a time…

I don’t usually like to drag out a subject or project that I’m blogging about, but this may take a while. In Deborah Boschert’s classes this weekend, we created fabric (which I haven’t touched yet!) and then eight small pieces illustrating design concepts. I’m working on finishing the eight pieces and it won’t make sense to show them all and then every step along the way. I’m working on them as a group right now and adding machine stitching to the pieces.

Some of them are getting some stamping, painting and additional fabric. I will try to show what I’m doing as each piece is finished, so you will see this particular group of fabrics quite often until they are done…and I have a teaching trip to Blue Lake for 10 days starting next week. Could be a while!

The first composition I did in class was this landscape.

I knew that I wanted to add a large leaf or tree on the right in paint. So I went through all my stencils and stamps and couldn’t find one that was just right. Simple solution to that issue–freezer paper stencil!

Practiced on a scrap and didn’t like the opacity of the white paint and decided to go with orange. I also hate to waste paint, so after stenciling the piece, I flipped it over and pressed it onto another scrap for the reverse print.

This was after I played with oranges on a green scrap, with stencils and a screen.

This is where I’m at right now.

No stitching on it, but I’m pleased with stencil and orange paint.

I’ll continue working on this series, but I won’t detail each part like this! That would bore both you and me! More later, and I know that it will get done————–a step at a time, bit by bit!

 

Now to relax—-aaaaah!

Quilting Unlimited is over and it was another fabulous event. I was not involved in the planning or execution this time so it really was a carefree weekend. Of course, there is always the creative tension and exhaustion of teaching and taking classes, but it’s so much easier when you don’t have to worry about any of the logistics.

There really isn’t too much more to put into words. I’ll let the pictures show you the fun! This was what was happening in the class I taught.

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So much lovely work.

And here is a brief glimpse into the classes I took. Both were taught by Deborah Boschert and I absolutely learned a lot and had a wonderful time. Wonderful teacher and I highly recommend her to any program chairs looking for a teacher!

Surface design with stamping and ink and cool tools–

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Unfortunately, I did not get pictures of everyone’s pieces.

And Sunday was a design and composition class. We did 8 little examples of design principles and learned a lot as we created.

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These all will be finished with stitch and embellishment, too!

So much fun, creativity and learning in all the classrooms!! It was a great weekend at Quilt University.

 

While I’m waiting

Waiting for another coat of paint to dry and thinking about getting everything super organized for this new class I’m teaching. Thought I would make another little sample that shows a different design idea for those who don’t want to do the same thing as everyone else.

I went to the fishing gear department to stock up on beading thread and saw a new type to try.

This is made by the same company that makes the Fireline thread I usually use, but I have never seen any this fine before. Only 2 lb. and the finest Fireline is 4 lb. It seems to be thinner than ‘invisible’ thread and it’s definitely more supple. Doesn’t say ‘braided’ as the Fireline is, so we’ll have to see just how strong it really is.

I used it with these black beads and you have to look super close to see it in this picture (arrow). In fact, I can’t get a picture close enough to show it all.

Oh, never mind…can’t really see it all, and I guess that’s the point! Pros: thin, strong, supple.   Cons: so thin it’s hard to see while beading.  It’s yet to be seen exactly how strong it is. I’ll have to throw this piece around and handle it a lot to test it out. Of course, once it’s mounted, you don’t have to worry about that, but I’d rather feel secure about my beads than worry about them falling off!

And I DO love French knots! Hard to stop adding them, but I had to restrain myself for the sake of the design.

Only need to decide now if it needs any more beads and then one more sample is ready for edge finishing. I’ll show that in class, I think.

Didn’t have AJ this week…seemed to have soooo much extra time. Glad he’ll be back from visiting his cousins and other grandparents next week. I’m selfish that way, but I sure love this boy!

Watching paint dry…

That’s the excitement in my life right now. I finished up this little piece, as much as it’s going to get.

Then I decided to paint a canvas to mount it on.

The canvas had been used and abused, but I thought I could rescue it. So it got a coat of paint and I had to wait for it to dry…sigh!

After drying, it still looks in pretty bad shape and it’s in an area that will show.

Now I’m trying some molding paste for texture to cover over this. I started with just smearing with a palette knife and then thought I’d stamp in some leaf shapes. Now to do this properly, it should be a smooth, thin coat of the paste. I abandoned that idea in favor of making texture that might suggest a leaf shape.

So now I get to wait for the paste to dry…sigh. And then I can paint again and wait for it to dry…sigh. So much excitement I can hardly stand it!

I need to mount this project from the Knot Even Quilters so it can be hung in an exhibit. I’m close to making a final decision and then, all of a sudden, I’m stuck. Do I want the pulled out piece at an angle or straight up?

Such a tiny spot to get stuck on…but that’s where I’m at. Spending a whole bunch of unexpected free time doing nothing. Well–a little cleaning, a little reading, a little gardening, a little computer time–lots of little bits of this and that. Nothing too productive, so I’m calling this my recharge week. I’ll try to ramp it up a little bit————–after a do-nothing weekend!!!